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Hospitals take emergency action to free up beds as non-urgent operations postponed

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WARRINGTON and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has activated its emergency procedure to free up hospital beds for patients with severe respiratory problems during the Coroavirus Covid-19 outbreak.

As a result some Elective procedures and Outpatient appointments will be postponed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Chris Evans, Chief Operating Officer said: “Like all other Trusts, and in line with national guidance from NHS England/Improvement, the Trust has activated its emergency preparedness and resilience procedure in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

“One of our first priorities is to free up hospital beds for the increase in patients presenting with severe respiratory problems. This means that we have begun to postpone some planned, non-urgent, elective (planned) operations. We are doing this on a day by day basis and only after clinical review with the intention of postponing as few procedures as possible.

“Urgent and emergency operations and cancer treatments are not affected and maternity services continue to operate as normal.

“We realise how distressing that this is for patients awaiting their procedures, but we would like to reassure that as soon as we are able to resume normal activities they will be contacted to reschedule.

“At the same time we have, where appropriate, begun to offer telephone out-patient consultations to our patients, especially those with long term conditions who require ongoing management. As well as being significantly more convenient for patients it helps reduce exposure to potential infections for patients and staff.

“Patients who are concerned about coming in to the hospital for their appointment due to Covid-19 should make sure that they telephone the clinic in good time to advise if they will not attend.

“As always, this remains an evolving situation and the Trust continues to change and adapt to meet the needs of our patients as new guidance is issued.”

Notes for patients and public

· People with any symptoms relating to Covid-19- coronavirus including a cough or temperature must not visit the hospital or their GP, the guidance issued by NHS111 is here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

· People with a general cold, including cough, cold, runny nose must not come to the hospital.

· People with any symptoms relating to a stomach upset, including diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not come to the hospital.

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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